Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal Meets with Reform Group Leaders

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal Meets with Reform Group Leaders

Article excerpt

Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and his new leadership team met Aug. 4 with local leaders of Voice of the Faithful and engaged in what a representative of the reform group described as "an honest exchange of views."

Both sides agreed that the meeting, which lasted about an hour, was a positive development for the local church.

It was "helpful conversation about important issues and the continued renewal of parish life in the archdiocese," Terrence Donilon, archdiocesan director of communications, said in a statement.

O'Malley and Donilon attended along with Fr. Richard Erikson, the new vicar general and moderator of the curia, and Fr. Robert Kickham, the cardinal's secretary.

"We had an honest exchange of views about issues that concern us," Dorothy Kennedy, president of the Boston Voice of the Faithful council, said in a statement.

Joining Kennedy at the chancery were Sheila Connors Grove, vice president; member Elia Marnik; and John Hynes, founding chairperson of the local council.

Founded in Boston's western suburbs in 2002 during the height of the clergy sex abuse crisis, Voice of the Faithful now claims 30,000 members nationwide. The organization's stated goals are to support victims of clergy abuse, support "priests of integrity," and "shape structural change within the church." The Boston council is affiliated with the national group, which has its headquarters in Wellesley, Mass.

Initially, neither Donilon nor Kennedy would comment further on the topics covered during the meeting. But an Aug. 7 Boston Voice of the Faithful newsletter and an Aug. 9 open meeting of the council provided some specifics.

Local leaders said they suggested the idea of a "Safety Sunday" awareness day for the parishes to enhance the protection of children, and asked that Voice of the Faithful be considered for membership on the archdiocese's standing committee on child advocacy and oversight. …

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